Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: April 8 – April 14, 2023

How are education bills doing as Illinois’ legislative session hits the halfway point?

By Samantha Smylie for Chalkbeat

“With the Illinois legislative session at its midway point, bills targeting literacy, full-day kindergarten, and the informal removal of students with disabilities from school appear to have gained momentum in Springfield. Lawmakers, who are off for spring break this week, have debated hundreds of bills over the last couple of months. Some have moved from one chamber to the next, while others have not been brought to a floor vote in either the House or Senate — which means that they don’t have a pathway to Gov. J.B Pritzker’s desk.”

Chicagoans want elected school board to better represent Black and Latino students 

By Samantha Smylie for Chalkbeat Chicago 

“Chicagoans who spoke at a public hearing Wednesday evening want to see the soon-to-be elected school board better represent the mostly Black and Latino students attending the city’s public schools.  The hearing was the first of five held by the Illinois’ Senate’s Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board, which is tasked with drawing the districts where school board members will be elected.”

Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson’s win reflects local and national shifts on education

By Becky Vevea for Chalkbeat

“The direction of public education in Chicago changed last week, when voters elected a teachers union organizer and former middle school teacher to be the city’s next mayor over a former schools chief and education consultant.  Brandon Johnson, 47, clinched victory with 52% of the vote over Paul Vallas, 69, and will be sworn in as mayor on May 15. He comes to the job with more experience in public education than most, if not all, previous mayors. Johnson will also be the first mayor in recent memory to hold the title of a public school parent. And he’ll be the last with the power to appoint the school board.”

Chicago Public Schools Continues Preschool Expansion to Nearly Every City Neighborhood

By The Lawndale News

“Chicago Public Schools (CPS) continues to expand early childhood learning opportunities as part of a citywide initiative to ensure every four-year-old child in the city has access to free full-day programming. CPS Chief Education Officer Bogdana Chkoumbova, Commissioner Brandie Knazze of the Department of Family Support and Services (DFSS), and CPS Chief Early Childhood Officer Leslie Mckinily visited preschool classrooms at Arnold Mireles Academy this morning as the early learning application portal opened, making preschool registration available for the 2023-24 school year.”